There are a lot of people downloading and installing SQL Server Express.  One of the common questions we get is “What should I do next?”  We’ve worked hard creating a great product that easy to use, free to download and distribute, and bundled with good guidance and code samples illustrating how to use SQL Server Express.    We also arranged the following list of items to help people take their first steps with SQL Server Express.

First off, register!  You may wonder why there’s any benefit to registering, but the whole new Express suite of products (Visual Web Developer, Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, Visual J#) has lots of reasons.  You’ll get an assortment of 250 royalty-free images from Corbis for inclusion in your web sites and applications, selections of application components useful when you’re developing applications, and full-text electronic books and articles helpful to professional developers, hobbyists, and everyone in between.  Registration is easy and only takes a few moments.  No long forms or activation codes stand between you and your free benefits.

Download SQL Server Management Studio Express.  This easy and user-friendly management tool adds a windows graphical front-end to SQL Server Express and enhances your ability to not just manage SQL Server Express, but all versions of SQL Server 2005.

Join the community!  Look through the user forums, ask questions, post comments—your feedback helps make the product better.  Let us know what you’re using SQL Server Express for and share helpful tools and information with fellow users.

Learn the basics.  There’s lots of great information online for new developers.  Check out first steps like Writing SQL Queries, Securing Your SQL Express Server, and Web Development with SQL Server.

Get to work.  View the demo and check out some sample applications online  over  at Coding 4 Fun. You’ll find all sorts of ideas and creative applications.  From web programming to game development, there’s sure to be something that strikes your fancy.  There’s even a Geek Holidays section that includes holiday-oriented games and applications as well as a Geek Holiday Gift Guide

Stumped about something as you’re going along?  Have a feature request?  Looking for information specific to SQL Server Express that you wish was available?  Tell us!  The best way to get what you want is to ask for it.

Our goal is to make sure your SQL Server Express experience is an easy and productive one.  Whether you’re building powerful data-driven websites or stand alone applications, you’ve just taken your first step to joining a great and productive community.  Have fun!


Thanks,
A. Burdette
SQL Server Express